Pretty much all my life, I had heard Dallas area people praise Dublin Dr. Pepper, and even enjoyed - here and there - the fruit of their labor. If you don't know what makes Dublin Dr. Pepper different, it's the pure cane sugar they used to sweeten it.
I had also heard about the factory tours in Dublin, but never had been there. In a happy turn of events, we were driving through Dublin in November 2010 and made the good decision to stop for the $4.00 tour. Dublin is a small Texas town that maintains the best of small town America, and all that and more was presented in the factory tour. We learned facts and figures (amounts and dates, etc) of Dublin Dr. Pepper as we were led through the old bottler. Each tour concluded with each guest receiving a bottle of the sweet delight, so they could experience what all the fuss was about.
Perhaps it was the proper legal decision, but it's sad - to me - that Big DP essentially put DubDP out of business. Unfortunately, the founder of DubDP didn't have enough marketing foresight and limited himself to a distribution region that could be covered by a horse drawn wagon in a single day, a 44-mile radius around Dublin. The result of this limited distribution circle meant at least a few things that would eventually lead to BigDP essentially pulling the plug on DubDP:
- Only a small number of people would ever be able to drink DubDP.
- Among those small number of customers, were satisfied customers that came up with creative ways to market the drink outside the distribution circle.
- Too much DubDP showed up in BigDP's other distribution areas, which led to lawyers getting involved, which led to the end of DubDP as a label. BigDP will continue to produce sugar-sweetened DP for the DubDP distribution radius, but something tells me it will be different, and I mean more than just the label.
Here are a few of my favorite photos from the Old Dublin Dr. Pepper Plant:
(See UPDATE below the photos.)
An anonymous commenter wrote:
"Dublin Dr Pepper is not closed. It is renamed as Dublin Bottling Works, and still doing business, except they no longer manufacture Dr Pepper products. www.olddocs.com" (emphasis added)
While I appreciate a push for accuracy, I believe the bolded part says what I said: "RIP DubDP." The plant no longer bottles DP products. As a label the product is gone. I also mention in my post that "BigDP will continue to produce [cane] sugar-sweetened DP for the DubDP distribution radius, but something tells me it will be different, and I mean more than just the label." It also should be noted that Dublin DP will not appear on the bottles produced by BigDP.
The bottling plant itself continues to operate under a different name - Old Doc's Soda Shop - making different products, but Dublin DP is definitely no more. Here's the confirmation from Old Doc's website FAQ page:
Why is Dr Pepper no longer bottled in Dublin?For enthusiasts, I still recommend the tour - even though they don't bottle DubDp any longer. Perhaps that was the gist of the anonymous comment. My intention was to focus on the product. I apologize for any confusion.
Dublin Bottling Works and Dr Pepper Snapple Group reached an agreement in January 2012 that transferred the bottling and distribution rights for Dr Pepper products to Dr Pepper Snapple Group. The same Dr Pepper made with pure cane sugar is still available for sale in Dublin, although Dublin Bottling Works no longer bottles Dr Pepper products.